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Panel Chosen to Make IU School of Education Recommendations

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The members of a so-called blue ribbon panel to make recommendations on the future of the IU School of Education have been chosen. IU President Michael McRobbie announced his intention to establish the panel last year in the wake of declining enrollment in the school.  The members of the panel are Carole Ames, former dean and professor emerita at the College of Education at Michigan State University; David Harris, who oversaw the establishment of the Indianapolis charter school system; Diana Hess, senior vice president of an academic research funding organization and professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Alex Molnar, research professor and publications director of  the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder; and Wendy Robinson, superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools. Two members of the five member panel, including the chair, were chosen in consultation with the IU school of education. Gerardo Gonzalez, Dean of the School, says he is pleased with the composition of the panel.

Following McRobbie’s announcement of his intent to appoint the panel, the school of education asked faculty to be consulted on the committee and its membership. McRobbie’s office then asked the school to submit a list of six nominees for two slots. The decline in enrollment in the IU school of education came in the wake of changes to the state’s Rules for Educator Preparation and Accountability, known as REPA (“REP-uh”). The changes now make it legal for people without education degrees to teach and administer in public schools.

Gonzales says that in Indiana, teachers’ salaries have been reduced by ten percent over the last decade, the second largest decline among the 50 states.  He also says the panel will begin meeting before the end of this semester and report to President McRobbie before the end of the summer. In the meantime, faculty and administrators in the Bloomington school are preparing submissions and recommendations for the panel.  Coincidentally, U.S. News and World Report recently ranked the IU School of Education 25th highest in the nation and 15th among public universities. Three of the School’s specialties – higher education administration, curriculum instruction, and elementary teacher education – ranked among the top 10. Gonzalez will be retiring from his fifteen year long term as Dean of the School of Education this year.

Plan Commission Mulls New Parking Garage

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The Monroe County government is still waiting for a verdict on their plans to build a parking garage after more than two hours of debate Monday night. The eight-story garage would be next to the County jail on Morton Street. It would have 268 spaces reserved for county employees. The County needs approval from the Bloomington Plan Commission, which heard the case for a second time last night. The plans for the garage would require the plan commission to allow for eight exceptions to downtown building codes, including a 30-foot height variance. Although the garage has been reduced from nine floors to eight due to criticism during the February hearing on the project, there are still portions of the facility that reach 90 feet. Additionally, the project does not meet code for providing retail space on the first floor because the ground floor would be used as an emergency evacuation facility for the county jail.

County Commissioner Patrick Stoffers told the Plan Commission that approximately 250 county employees currently park in the Monroe County Convention Center parking lot, and that the county pays fifty thousand dollars a year to then shuttle employees to work. In an effort to reduce the size of the parking garage, the city offered to lease spaces in existing garages to the county. The County turned down that offer. City Council Member Steve Volan, who spoke during public comment, said that using county funds to build an additional garage was irresponsible.

Much of the public comment concentrated on the benefits of having high numbers of pedestrians downtown. Local Architect Mark Cornett said that downtown is increasingly becoming a “drive in, drive out” community, giving the example of a coffee shop located in Smallwood that had to close because students were bypassing the retail level and taking the elevator directly to their cars.  Already this year downtown development has caused Bloomington’s City Council to reexamine relationships between the plan commission, an appointed body, and the elected officials who serve on the council. Throughout Monday’s meeting, commissioners, staff, and the public spoke about last month’s approval of the large Graduate Hotel on Kirkwood Avenue, the relocation of IU Health Bloomington Hospital, the potential expansion of the convention center, and repeatedly called Smallwood Apartments “a mistake.” The city plan commission’s jurisdiction over what the county can build on its downtown land displays another conflict of authority, and multiple times throughout the meeting talk came up of county operations leaving downtown Bloomington. Commission member Chris Smith reproached the elected officials in the room for being behind in the creation of a growth policies plan, or GPP.

Speaking in favor of the parking garage were county council member Cheryl Munson and Larry Jacobs of the Chamber of Commerce. Along with Volan, city council member Dave Rollo also spoke against the project. And members of Decarcerate Monroe County objected to the ground floor blueprint, which they say looks unchanged since a jail work release proposal was dropped from the development plan. Because comission comment indicated the project would not pass if it were voted on, Commission president Jack Baker made a motion to continue the hearing for an additional month. That motion was passed 7-1, with commission member Jane St. John speaking against the trend of passing developments that do not reflect the community’s values.

The garage is scheduled to be considered again at the next Plan Commission meeting on April 13th.

Antiracist Speech Expected to Draw Protest

An antiracist speech tonight at Indiana University is expected to draw protests. Tim Wise, an author who describes himself as an antiracist activist, is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. at the Whittenberger Auditorium in the IU Memorial Union. Wise has written six books on racism and white privilege. A small white nationalist group at IU has announced it will picket his speech. The group is known as the Traditionalist Youth Network. One of its most outspoken members, Thomas Buhls, has been associated with so-called white heritage protests in Bloomington for years. Buhls made national news in 2011 after police arrested him for distributing a Ku Klux Klan publication in Martinsville. A judge later said Buhls had the legal right to distribute the racist material. A counter protest is planned tonight in response to the Traditionalist Youth Network’s rally. Counter protesters are meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the circle drive in front of the Union. Wise, the author, has supported the counter protest in social media. In a Facebook post yesterday, Wise said,  “For progressive and antiracist folks in the Bloomington area, feel free to come and say hi, nonviolently of course, to your friendly neighborhood Nazis. If they can recruit racists, I can recruit antiracists.”

Daily Local News – March 10, 2015

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Students from Batchelor Middle School in Bloomington took on issues with the No Child Left Behind Act in a documentary that just won a national award; A study out of Indiana University is bringing attention to issues with wetland areas across the country;

FEATURE
This year Indiana Governor Mike Pence has called for the state’s legislative session to focus on education. Much of that focus has been directed toward Superintendent Glenda Ritz, with bills emerging to denounce her as chair of the State Board of Education. Some view the bills as partisan attacks, others see it as a necessary step for reform.

INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
Kevin MacDowell, manager of Monroe County Public Library’s two new digital creativity centers, introduces us to Level Up, an all-ages productivity lab. All that’s needed to develop high-tech skills for saving AND earning money is a free library card—and a willingness to learn.

CREDITS
You’ve been listening to the Daily Local News on WFHB,
supported by Bloomingfoods Market and Deli, your locally-grown co-op grocery.
Today’s headlines were written by Amanda Marino and Carmen Gozalo
Our feature was produced by Sarah Panfil
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Ryan Stacy and edited by Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and The United Way of Monroe County.
Our engineer is Joe Crawford
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh,
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford.
For WFHB, I’m Casey Kuhn.

Daily Local News – March 9, 2015

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A study out of Indiana University shows more and more students are using the state’s school voucher program;Tonight, the employee parking garage proposal from the Monroe County Commission will once again come before the Bloomington Plan Commission;The Bloomington City Council has approved a resolution finalizing a tax cut for a development on S. Walnut St.; Virologist Susana Lopez of the National University of Mexico will be at IU this Wednesday to discuss her crusade against gastroenteritis as part of the 34th Joan Wood Lecture Series.

FEATURE
The Center for Evaluation and Education Policy has found that enrollment in Indiana’s school vouchers program is rapidly increasing. News Director Joe Crawford spoke with a researcher at the Center for today’s WFHB community report.

ACTIVATE!
Your WFHB weekly segment spotlighting people working for positive change in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Doug Storm and Maria McKinley
Our engineer is Chris Martin
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker, along with the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy and Amanda Marino along with Alycin Bektesh for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by David Murphy
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh
Executive producer is Joe Crawford

Daily Local News – March 5, 2015

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A group concerned with environmental contamination in Bloomington is holding its first meeting this weekend; In April of this year the first ever Jan Vickers Film Scoring Award will be presented to a student from the Composition Department in the IU Jacobs School of Music; The 35th annual Arts Fair on the Square has received approval to expand this year despite opposition from nearby businesses; Ellettsville Fire Chief Michael Cornman has concerns about staffing in the Town Fire Department; Newly released data shows alarming trends regarding incarceration in Indiana.

FEATURE
Last night the City Council passed a measure that could have major effects on development in Bloomington. WFHB correspondent Alycin Bektesh has that story for today’s WFHB community report.

VOICES IN THE STREET
This week on the Voices in the Street: “The madness of March is about to descend, what part will IU play???”

CREDITS
Anchors: Carolyn VandeWiele, Scott Weddle
Today’s headlines were written by Anson Shupe and Joe Crawford
Along with Alycin Bektesh for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Alycin Bektesh
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley,
Our engineers today are Jose Rodriguez and Jonathan Goethals
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh.
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford.

Daily Local News – March 4, 2015

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A coalition that made a name for itself by helping defeat Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban is continuing its fight this evening against another piece of legislation in the Indiana Statehouse; Another bill that is still alive in the state legislature aims to protect residents’ financial and personal data from being stolen, disseminated, or being used without the consent of the data owner; The recent data breach at Anthem Insurance may affect some residents who work for Monroe County; Monroe County is among many Indiana communities that have lost grant funds because of a dispute with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.

FEATURE
IU is among nine universities under investigation by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, for violating title nine protections against discrimination based on sex. Last fall the university sought input on the current policies in place addressing sexual crimes. This week, President Michael McRobbie signed the new Sexual Misconduct Policy. WFHB correspondent Alycin Bektesh speaks with members of the IU community who worked on the policy for today’s community report.

BETTER BEWARE!
A warning from Indiana’s Secretary of State about fraudulent business letters which appear to come from her office!

CREDITS
Anchors: Kelly Wherley, Sophia Saliby
Today’s headlines were written by Thomas Schneider and Halle Shine
Along with Alycin Bektesh for CATSweek, in partnership with Community Access Television services
Better Beware was produced by Richard Fish
Our feature was produced by Alycin Bektesh
Our engineers today are Adam Reichle and Matt Gwaltney
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh

Daily Local News – March 3, 2015

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Indiana University released a new sexual misconduct policy today; IU Provost Lauren Robel announces the State of the Campus; For the second year in a row, IU Bloomington has increased its numbers of Peace Corp volunteers.

FEATURE
A bill that could expand public transportation in rural parts of Monroe County got its first reading in the Indiana House of Representatives today. The bill has already passed in the Senate. Correspondent Sophia Saliby has the story behind the law, including concerns about its possible side effects, for today’s WFHB community report.

INS AND OUTS OF MONEY
Ryan Stacey talks to Stacy Williams from IU student legal services about how students can manage renting or leasing problems.

CREDITS
Anchors – Casey Kuhn, Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was written by Sophia Saliby and produced by Joe Crawford
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Ryan Stacy and edited by Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and The United Way of Monroe County.
Our engineer is Joe Crawford
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh,
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford.

Daily Local News – March 2, 2015

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Artwork by clients of Stone Belt is on display in the atrium of Bloomington City Hall; The League of Women Voters of Bloomington and Monroe County will host the panel discussion featuring state senators and representatives whose districts include Monroe County; IU-Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel will deliver the State-of-the-Campus address tomorrow afternoon at 3pm, in Franklin Hall; The Monroe County Community School Board approved student-to-teacher ratio requirements at its meeting last week.

FEATURE
Local people continue to react to I.U. Health Bloomington’s announcement that it intends to close the Bloomington Hospital and build elsewhere. Correspondent David Murphy spoke to two candidates for election to mayor of Bloomington – Democrat John Linnemeier and Republican John Turnbull – to get their views on the hospital’s move. He also spoke with Forrest Gilmore, Director of Shalom Community Center, to hear about that social service agency’s concerns on the closing of the downtown hospital. We bring you that story now for today’s WFHB community report.

ACTIVATE!
Your WFHB weekly segment spotlighting people working for positive change in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Doug Storm and Maria McKinley
Our engineer is Chris Martin
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker, along with the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network
Today’s headlines were written by Amanda Marino along with Alycin Bektesh for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by David Murphy
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh
Executive producer is Joe Crawford

Daily Local News – February 26, 2015

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2/26/2015
The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, approved the long-debated net neutrality rule today;February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month; A batch
of new luxury condos are planned for construction in downtown Bloomington;The Bloomington Board of Parks Commissioners heard an update on Tuesday about invasive species at the Griffy Lake Nature Preserve.

FEATURE
The Bloomington Chamber of Commerce has convened a task force to study water resources in Monroe County and beyond. WFHB News Director Joe Crawford spoke today with Liz Irwin, a spokesperson for the Chamber. They discussed the Chamber’s concerns about how water resources could affect future development in the area. We bring you that conversation now
for today’s WFHB community report. Irwin began by explaining why the Chamber assembled the task force.

VOICES IN THE STREET
Up next, our weekly public opinion segment!

CREDITS
Anchors: Carolyn VandeWiele, Scott Weddle
Today’s headlines were written by Joe Crawford, Carmen Gozalo and Anson Shupe
Along with Alycin Bektesh for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television
Services. Our feature was produced by Joe Crawford. Voices in the Street was produced by
Kelly Wherley, Our engineer today was Jose Rodriguez!!
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford.

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